tips, tricks & travel hacks

“When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money”.

First, a caveat: I rarely give travel advice. I am not that know-it-all road warrior sitting at a dim, smoke-swirled bar in Bangkok, nursing a sweaty bottle of Singha beer hoping a lost and lonely backpacker will buy me drinks and listen while I natter on about my expertise. I don’t ask for much travel advice either. At the heart of my approach is that what works for me may not be the best solution for you. Most of my advice comes in the form of the dispatches I write, including some written at a dim, smoke-swirled bar in Bangkok. But that’s another story…

©BGabriel, 2002 stealjustoneday.com

There may be as many approaches to travel as there are people out there traveling. Strategies range from micro-planning of each kilometer along the way and every moment of the day to a freewheeling, “Plan? I don’t need any stinking plan!” I fall somewhere between those two poles on the travel-planning scale. On occasion I stumble upon some information that is worth passing on to other interested travelers and you will find links to those articles here on tips, tricks and travel hacks. I also have a husband, my ace traveler partner Brian, who has his own style of trip planning, much of which involves travel hacking. You will see an occasional post from Brian on that topic. Between the two of us, we generally get where we planned to go, arrive around the time we expected to get there, and although we’ve been lost more than once (in fact, we encourage those sort of shenanigans) we have rarely been robbed or treated poorly while out on the road. Click the links below to sharpen your traveler’s skills.

 

read about the STEP Program for travelers

Problem: How to feel safer traveling in the age of terror. One solution? Enroll in the STEP program

 

click to read "Driving in Morocco"

Driving in Morocco will test your nerve. Passing an unhurried donkey cart on the bend of an Atlas mountain road, with the sun in your eyes and a steep cliff daring you to come closer, focuses your attention like few things in life do.

 

click to read "Packing for travel: know thyself"

Why take my advice on packing for travel? Because I’ll show you how to find your own inner expert so you can stop wasting time searching for that elusive, magical method and spend time with a delicious beverage, instead.

 

click to read my Rules for Travel

Let people in, slow down, and other Rules for Travel from Steal Just One Day.

 

click to read This Traveler's Got a Brand New Bag

A new travel bag is more than a bag. It’s a symbol of change, which is primarily what travel is about.

 

click to read 10 Common Sense Safety Tips for Travel

10 Common Sense Safety Tips for Travelers.

Where will SJOD go next? Meme

Check back for tips, tricks & travel hacks, coming soon.

 

 

 


Using Offline Maps for Travel

Offline maps for travel

Using cellular data when traveling is costly. Squandering it to find your way around an unfamiliar city eats up your data faster than Kobayashi eating hot dogs at Coney Island on July 4th. The best way to find your way around and still save cellular data is to use offline maps …

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STEP Program: Travel in the Age of Terror

read about the STEP Program for travelers

A couple of months before my recent trip to Europe bombs exploded in Brussels, including two at the airport. I don’t frighten easily, but like much of the world I stopped in my tracks to get more news. Since television and social media survive partly by being home to drama queens …

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Driving in Baja California: Margaritas and Ninja Cows

driving in Baja

Before I went driving in Baja California, I checked with an expert in negotiating Mexican roads. My driving abilities from Mexico have helped me get through Hollywood. ~Salma Hayek No doubt Ms. Hayek is right about that; she’s got a reputation as gutsy and no-nonsense, both handy qualities for an acting career …

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Driving in Morocco: a Search for Solitude and Connection

Driving in Morocco

A funny thing happened on the way to Chefchaouen. We went driving in Morocco for three months. From Tangier to Tiglit and Marrakech to Merzouga, we steered our VW camper van toward adventure. Crossing desert landscapes and fording rivers cut through breathtaking gorges, we wound through the maze-like streets of medinas in …

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Packing for Travel: Know Thyself

Packing for travel ©2016 BGabriel, stealjustoneday.com

Packing for travel has one certainty, one hard and fast rule: there is no certainty and no hard and fast rule. Packing is an evolving science and art for every person who explores our world, whatever their mode of travel. Online advice about packing for travel will blow your brain …

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Rules for Travel: Travel Journal 2015, page 11

Travel Journal, page 11~ 7 October 2015

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This Traveler’s Got a Brand New Bag

A member of a writer’s group I belong to recently posted this question: If you had to name the dumbest purchase you’ve ever made, what would it be? “Easy one”, I thought, “my first marriage license.” After I finished cracking myself up, I thought back on the massive ton of …

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Safety Tips for Travelers: 10 Common Sense Ways to Stay Safe

©BGabriel, 2015 stealjustoneday.com

In a previous Steal Just One Day post I reflected on whether the world is really as dangerous for travel as the media, your cousin, or my dentist would have you believe. Hint: it’s not. As a woman who takes travel seriously and has spent months, even years, on the road …

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Subterranean Paris: the Sewers Below the City of Light

This post is Part 4 of a series about visiting Alternative Paris. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, click to read Heading to Paris? Pack your Post-it notes, and part 2, Catacombs of Paris: Do I see Dead People?, and part 3, Falafel, History and Remembrance: Jewish Paris. Then return …

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Falafel, History and Remembrance: Jewish Paris

click to read Falafel, History and Remembrance: Jewish Paris

This post is Part 3 of a series about Alternative Paris. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, click to read Heading to Paris? Pack your Post-it notes, and part 2, Catacombs of Paris: Do I see Dead People? Then hurry back here to read about Alternative Paris-Jewish History. I …

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Catacombs of Paris: Do I See Dead People?

©BGabriel, 1999 stealjustoneday.com

This post is Part 2 of a series about Alternative Paris. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, click to read “Heading to Paris? Pack your Post-it notes“. Then hurry back here to read about Paris underground. Standing outside the entrance to the Paris Catacombs, I had second thoughts. Reluctant about …

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Heading to Paris? You May Want to Pack Your Post-its.

©BGabriel, 1999 stealjustoneday.com

[note: This is the first in a series of articles about Alternative Paris.] They make their way from Dubuque. New York City. Portland, Maine and Dallas, Texas. But also from Moscow, Frankfurt, Tangier and beyond. They come to write, to paint, for fashion and film. For the perfume and the …

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Possessing Paris: Coffee and the Lost View From a Rooftop

©BGabriel, 1999 stealjustoneday.com

There used to be two great bargains in Paris. A pair of not-so-secret traveler’s secrets to explore the city like a local. The first deal was the utterly free, 360-degree view of the City of Lights from the rooftop of a department store. You read that right: a department store. …

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